Photo: Courtesy of JERA

Japan’s spot LNG prices drop off in March

Following highs in January and February of 2021, Japanese spot liquefied natural gas (LNG) prices plunged in March.

Shingshu Maru LNg tanker sailing in the North Pacific Ocean
Courtesy of JERA

Data from Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry shows that the price of spot LNG contracted during March 2021 reached $6.6 per mmBtu.

This is well below the $12.7 per mmBtu reported in February, and $18.5 per mmBtu reported in January 2021.

However, compared to the contract-based price reported in March 2020, when the price was at $3.4 per mmBtu, this is a significant increase, year on year.

The price of spot LNG arriving into Japan during the month of March 2021, also slipped from the previous two months. After arrival-based price reached $15.5 per mmBtu in January 2021, and increased to $16.3 per mmBtu in February 2021, it slipped to $9.3 per mmBtu during the month under review.

It has to be reminded that the February 2021 arrival-based price equals the previously highest level reached in May 2014.

The ministry did not report any arrival-based price in March 2020 due to lack of reports of spot LNG cargo imports.

The ministry surveys only cargoes purchased by Japanese utilities and other importers.

It excludes cargo deals linked to a particular price index such as the US Henry Hub and the JKM.